Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane said he turned down a move to Manchester United because the club had just signed Phil Jones and the Frenchman feared that might limit his first team opportunities.
The French defender was one of European football’s most promising prospect when he left Lens in the summer of 2011, with Real Madrid beating PSG and United in the race to the then 18-year-old.
The Spanish giants paid £8m for Varane, less than half the sum United poured in Blackburn Rovers’ coffers for Jones, who cost £16.5m, and the Frenchman has revealed things could have gone very differently.
“PSG? The project there wasn’t clear,” Varane said in an interview.
“The Qataris had only just arrived and it was all very vague. Manchester United? They had just signed Phil Jones in my position.
“My first reaction when Real wanted to sign me was not, ‘Of course I will go’. I only made my decision when I knew that the coach wanted me to play in the first team.”
Since joining United, Jones has played 107 games and scored five goals in all competitions, while Varane has played 79 times for Real Madrid.
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